Economy as Opium of the people. By Bernard Perret

« The devices that allow humans to moderate their violence are all similar, in that none of them
is uncongenial to violence » (René Girard )

According to René Girard, the whole pattern of social structures is originated in the necessity to limit the violent upshots of mimetic rivalry. In most of societies since the origin of humanity, this end has been reached through cultural devices creating stable differences among humans and/or institutions embedding some kind of sacrificial mechanism such as Justice. In modern societies, however, social order tends to be less dependent on these inherited solutions. The constitutive project of social modernity is to create a self regulated peaceful social order based on individual freedom and limitless promotion of acquisitive desires. In connection, prevalent ideologies and cultural trends tend to delegitimize social differences and desymbolize institutions. Our societies see themselves entirely devoted to “peaceful enjoyment of private independence”, as formulated in a famous text of Benjamin Constant on The “Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns ” (1816).

Perret, Economy as Opium of the people

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